Get Crafting: Make Your Own Outdoor Xylophone

xylophone made out of jars and garden contents

Craft by Dawn, staff member, Sackville Public Library

With warm weather comes lots of chances to do neat things outside! If you love music, you're going to love this simple outdoor musical craft. All you need is a few things from around your house and yard, and you're all set to have some outdoor musical fun.

Step 1: Gather supplies

stones, leaves, sticks, pine cones, dirt, flowers

You'll need:

  • 5-6 glass jars, empty and clean. Ask your family to save the jars from things like jam and pickles. The jars can be the same size, or different sizes like we used.
  • Dirt, grass, rocks, mud, or anything else you find outdoors that you want to put in the jars.
  • Sticks—you'll need one or two to play your xylophone.

Step 2: Fill jars

empty glass jars laid out on grass

Lay out your empty jars on a flat surface, and fill each of them with a different type of item found outdoors. We chose leaves, rocks, dirt, grass, pine cones, and water to fill our jars. 

Tip: If your jars are all the same size, fill them with different amounts of yard materials. Doing so will change the sound for each jar. 

Step 3: Play your xylophone

glass jars filled with pinecones, dirt, water, leaves

Once your jars are filled, you can use the sticks you gathered to play your xylophone. Just tap the top of each jar to make beautiful music.

Step 4: Experiment 

We suggest experimenting by filling your jars with different object to see how the sounds change. A jar full of mud will produce a lower tone than a jar full of leaves. Looking for more outdoor craft fun? Check out this slideshow, opens a new window from for ideas.